ellie-goulding

Ellie Goulding surprises NHS bride with live virtual performance

Ellie Goulding is helping lift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic

Bridie Wilkins

Ellie Goulding helped make the wedding day of one NHS nurse and her groom as special as could be with a surprise virtual performance this weekend. Hayley Pitman and her now-husband Harvey Skelton were due to get married on 11 April in Gloucestershire but, like many other couples (some have lost all of their money or who were forced to tie their knot without their guests), Hayley and Harvey's original plans were ruined by the coronavirus pandemic.

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WATCH: Ellie Goulding performs first dance song for NHS bride

Instead, the couple opted to host their ceremony via virtual platform Zoom. The nuptials were organised by wedding directory company For Better For Worse, who arranged for Ellie Goulding to surprise the couple with a performance of what would have been their first dance song.

As Ellie appeared on screen, she said: "Congratulations Harvey and Hayley, you're both heroes," before going into an acoustic version of her 2015 hit Love Me Like You Do. Hayley and Harvey stood up to have their first dance together.

SEE: Coronavirus made my wedding day extra special and we've never felt so lucky

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Hayley and Harvey had their first dance on screen

Following the ceremony, Hayley said: "Despite not being able to be with our friends and family in person, being thrown a virtual wedding by the For Better For Worse team was such a magical experience, and the appearance by one of our favourite singers Ellie Goulding was just the icing on the cake, I couldn't believe it! The memories of this will certainly keep us both going until we can celebrate properly later on in the year."

SEE: 15 celebrity couples whose weddings have been affected by coronavirus

Tammy Madge, who works for For Better For Worse, added: "It was really difficult to see so many couples having to postpone their weddings after spending months or even years saving and planning for their special day. To help bring a smile back to a special couple's face, we took it upon ourselves to organise a virtual wedding. With such close ties to the NHS, Hayley and Harvey were the perfect choice for us, and of course Ellie Goulding surprising the couple made it so much more special."

The company is now looking for other UK couples to share their own personal love in lockdown stories with the hashtag #FBFWLoveInLockdown, and donations can be made to the Lock In Lockdown fundraising page in partnership with NHS Charities Together. 

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